Diesel engines have always faced an oily, uphill challenge here in the United States. While some see them as a choice that provides great torque and strong fuel economy figures, others still assume they're clattery, smelly engines best left for large trucks. That's unfortunate because a good diesel engine is a wonderful thing.
Unfortunately, given Volkswagen's deception, the writing may be on the wall for these engines here in the States. There is market research to be conducted and environmental testing to be concluded in the face of tougher testing from the EPA.
Current demand for diesel engines is low in North America. It's not a trend that is expected to reverse course anytime soon, either. Apparently, Mercedes-Benz sees that and has begun to back off on the number of vehicles available with diesels. According to Automotive News, Mercedes is evaluating its long-term plans in the United States in regard to diesel engines.
Currently, Mercedes-Benz is seeking engine certification for four models. The C-Class, GLC, GLE, and GLS had been planned to arrive in U.S. dealerships with an oil-burning option. Now it seems that the diesel C-Class isn't coming our way anymore. The goal is still to get the GLS here in 350d guise, as it makes sense for the largest luxury offering to be available with the torquey mill.
It's an odd time for the diesel engine. Volkswagen and Audi used to be diesel kings, but those days are effectively dead. Mazda is finally set to bring its diesel to market, and Mercedes-Benz is evaluating whether it wants to keep certifying engines for use here in the U.S.
It seems we're witnessing the potential end days for consumer diesel offerings.